The Rams improved to 5-1 with a 38-11 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Here’s what we learned from the Rams’ victory:
Taylor Rapp can make plays on the ball: We saw shades of Rapp’s playmaking ability in 2019 when he intercepted two passes as a rookie playing alongside veteran Eric Weddle. We didn’t see as much during Rapp’s injury-stifled 2020 season.
But on Sunday, Rapp intercepted two passes by Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. The Rams converted Rapp’s second-quarter interception into a touchdown. They did the same after Rapp’s third-quarter interception.
Rapp said he was just using his instincts and reading Jones’ eyes.
“When you get those opps,” he said of opportunities, “can’t miss those layups.”
Cooper Kupp remains Matthew Stafford’s favorite target: Ten days after Robert Woods broke out with 12 catches for 150 yards on 14 targets against the Seattle Seahawks, Stafford went back to Kupp.
Stafford targeted Kupp 12 times, and he responded with nine catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns.
Woods and tight end Tyler Higbee each were targeted five times. Woods caught a touchdown pass.
DeSean Jackson was targeted once and made a six-yard reception.
Running back Darrell Henderson can catch midrange passes: After they the Rams selected him in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft, general manager Les Snead and coach Sean McVay lauded Henderson’s pass-catching skills.
We didn’t see much of evidence the last two seasons, however. Henderson caught four passes as a rookie and 16 passes in 2020.
On Sunday, Henderson made an impressive catch on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Stafford — after Stafford checked out of the original play call.
“Darrell’s one of those guys, I feel like people don’t think about him as being able to catch the ball out of the backfield or that being one of his strengths,” Stafford said. “But he’s got really good speed, tracks the ball really well for really anybody, and I was just happy that he got the opportunity.”
Henderson rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown in 21 carries. He has 12 receptions this season.
Robert Rochell learns from mistakes: The rookie cornerback had some bad plays and some good ones in his first start against the Seattle Seahawks.
On Sunday, the Giants went after him early.
But Rochell made them pay when he intercepted a pass in the second quarter.
“Just growing, getting into another start and just feeling out the game,” Rochell said, adding: “This week was definitely different from last week. … I played more snaps. Definitely different being in the whole game.”
Rochell said he was going to give the ball to his mother, who traveled from Texas to see the game.
Donte Deayon is more than an upbeat practice-squad player: With cornerback Darious Williams sidelined because of an ankle injury, the Rams activated Deayon from the practice squad.
He played in a rotation with other cornerbacks and finished with four tackles.
“He’s the guy that brings all the energy,” Rochell said. “Keeps everybody locked in. Keeps everybody focused.”
Obo Okoronkwo might be another impactful Rams outside linebacker: Throughout his three seasons with the Rams, Okoronkwo has been slowed by numerous injuries. He began this season on injured reserve because of a shoulder/neck issue.
Against the Giants, Okoronkwo’s strip sack of Jones set up the Rams’ second touchdown in the second quarter.
With Leonard Floyd off to another good start and second-year pro Terrell Lewis showing signs of why the Rams drafted him in the third round in 2020, if Okoronkwo can continue to play well, the Rams will have a formidable trio on the edges.
Punter Johnny Hekker and kicker Matt Gay are back on track: Hekker’s 52-yard punt flipped the field and set the stage for Rapp’s first interception, which led to a touchdown.
Hekker also completed a pass to Ben Skowronek, but the play was nullified by unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties against both teams.
Gay rebounded from a mistake-filled performance against the Seahawks in Week 5, when he bounced two kickoffs out of bounds and missed an extra-point attempt.
Matthew Stafford is playing down the next game against the Detroit Lions: Since arriving in Los Angeles in a trade for Jared Goff and two first-round draft picks, Stafford has politely avoided talking much about the specifics of his 12 seasons with the Lions.
He prefers not to look behind.
Stafford remained consistent when asked how he would approach Sunday’s game at SoFi Stadium.
“Just like every other game,” he said. “It’s an NFL opponent, you know, coming into our building. Do I have a history with them? Absolutely. In pregame am I going be saying ‘Hey’ to some old teammates and friends? — the Ford family will hopefully make the trip — absolutely.
“I have nothing but a great relationship with people over there. I have a lot of respect for the team and the ownership. It will be just another game when the ball is snapped.”